Friday 12th October 2012 – Day 61

Rendlesham Forest – Sea Palling

71.93 miles

1925 feet climbed

3030 calories burnt

Cumulative miles cycled = 3,517.58 miles

After the disaster that was yesterday’s route, to keep on track and pushing forward we needed to cycle some serious mileage today. The owner of the campsite, a couple of twitter followers and the all important met office promised glorious sunny skies, but in reality we woke to waterlogged roads, misty, wet and generally atrocious cycling conditions.

Overnight it rained so heavily that it kept me awake for hours, this wasn’t helped by the motorhome inexplicably turning into a sauna, so sleep took a long time in coming. This meant I wasn’t the freshest this morning, struggling to push back the covers and stumble down my ladder to eat breakfast. Whilst we were eating, the weather attempted to clear, it didn’t do a great job and by the time we’d finished eating, sorted the motorhome out, unlocked the bikes and chucked them in the motorhome to set off it was still drizzling. Dad and I were ‘ferried’ to our start line of Alderton to begin cycling from near where the ferry would have docked (if it had been sailing!).

The weather caused us quite a few problems today, the rain had washed a lot of the mud from the fields into the road, so we were basically cycling on a mud bath for most of the morning. As we’re in Suffolk in a heavily farmed area, the tractors had turned one road into a quagmire of mud, practically impassible for cycles; surely it’s illegal for them to leave public highways in such a state!

Again, as the terrain was flat, it was a pretty boring day in terms of scenery; farms and fields as far as the eye could see. You wouldn’t have believed we were cycling the coast of Britain today, as we only saw the coast at lunch, in Lowestoft, and as we cycled through and along the front in Great Yarmouth.

The route I had plotted for the morning essentially shadowed the A12, I wanted to ensure we didn’t end up cycling on it as it seemed to be a pretty dangerous road. Motorists seem to lose all spatial awareness when they drive on a flat, straight road such as the A12, overtaking us irrespective of how little room there is. As we were snaking around the A12, it took us a lot longer and increased our mileage somewhat, but it definitely made for more pleasant riding.

The wind was generally in our favour the whole day as we were cycling north, but when we turned left and headed west we certainly knew about it, battling the wind with every pedal stroke.

It was a long morning, we cycled just shy of fifty miles before we reached our lunch stop in Lowestoft. Bearing in mind we had only cycled fifty miles the whole of yesterday, we were on pretty good form today. Dad and I have our own rhythms/paces/cadences as we cycle along, and it’s been a while since we’ve been on roads where we can actually talk. Since the South coast really we’ve been on busy country lanes or arterial roads, so all day our conversations have been limited to pointing out potholes, screaming car, or shouting that there’s a good lay-by ahead for a pee stop!

As we’d been cycling in the wet, sandy, muddy conditions of Suffolk’s country lanes, when we stopped for lunch, Mum kindly gave a bikes a much-needed wash. We treated them to some oil, so when we set off for the afternoon’s ride, they felt practically new!

As we set off for the afternoon ride, the sun came out, the clouds disappeared and we were treated to some autumnal blue skies! At Great Yarmouth, we finally moved over in to Norfolk – there are not many more counties left until we’re back at the finish line, can’t believe we’re nearly done!

Dad and I pushed a long the thirty miles of the afternoon, it was incredibly flat but the wind was still there on the left turns. The motorhome rang us to let us know they had found a campsite at Walnut Farm in Waxham, just shy of Sea Palling. When we knew where they were we took it easy and pootled along. As we passed Horsey Windpump, I stopped to try and take some arty shots of the windmill, may have failed (I’ll upload them when I can!).

On the campsite, Mum made some potato gratin to go with left over ragu that Pat had cooked. We had more red wine and watched the England match, it’s getting colder on the evenings so we have to drink more and more just to keep  toasty!

Looks like the weather is deteriorating tomorrow, so we’ll have to wrap up warm and kit up in our wet weather gear!

Please remember that Kirsty Medlock and her Dad, Stephen are cycling the 4,400 miles round the coast of Britain to raise £10,000 for Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) Adoption, the agency that facilitated an adoption for family friends. Please follow this link to donate as much as you can http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/cycling4adoption

Many, many thanks in advance!

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